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Brentford boss Thomas Frank calls for ‘strict guideline’ on Covid postponements

Brentford v AFC Bournemouth – Sky Bet Championship – Brentford Community Stadium
(Image credit: John Walton)

Brentford boss Thomas Frank has called for consistent Covid-19 guidelines across the Premier League and Football League.

The Championship side face Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday night, with both them and Spurs having had matches called off in recent days due to coronavirus.

Brentford’s game with Bristol City on Saturday was postponed due to some members of the City squad showing symptoms, although the bank holiday meant their players could not actually be tested.

Frank fears the raft of postponements will lead to the season having to be extended and said: “I think it’s very important that the EFL, the Premier League and the FA find some kind of guidelines across the four leagues and the cup tournaments.

“We all know we are living in a global pandemic and it’s safety first for everyone involved in the game but also society. I know it’s very difficult for the organisations to get it right.

“But I’m talking about our game against Bristol was postponed, but Wimbledon in League One were not allowed to get their game postponed even though they maybe had more cases.

“Then we know Premier League games have been postponed. I don’t know how many players need to have tested positive or have symptoms or whatever. I think it’s very important that we have guidelines the same across all the games.

“We are going to play so many games already, when will they find the time for the remaining games?

“If you don’t have consistency it will add up either extending the season again, then we are into the Euros. A strict guideline would really be helpful.”

Tottenham’s match with Fulham last week was called off due to an outbreak in the Cottagers’ camp, before Spurs players Erik Lamela, Sergio Reguilon and Giovani Lo Celso hit the headlines with a breach of coronavirus rules by attending a party over Christmas.

“We’re all people and sometimes people make mistakes,” added Frank. “I think it’s a difficult time for all people, in and out of football.

“Of course we all know we need to follow the rules, but we also know when we shouldn’t drive at more than 50mph. I can put my hand up, I have driven at 55 when I shouldn’t have done it. But we need to be really firm on it.

“We are trying our best to enforce the messages. We need to have all the players available, not getting caught out in isolation and not getting the virus.

“We do our best but it’s down to the individual person or player, not only in football but in life.”

Frank confirmed his squad have all tested negative ahead of the match, the first domestic semi-final in Brentford’s history, which will see the Dane go up against three-time League Cup winner Jose Mourinho.

“I have studied football for many years and Jose is one of the greatest of all time so it’s a privilege to play against his team,” he said.

“I admire him a lot for having that fantastic career. But when the whistle blows it’s just another bloke standing in the dug-out.

“I’m still pretty sure he also goes to the toilet sometimes!”